The Week in iPad Cases

As summer approaches, the benefits of having an iPad multiply--in fact, I wrote this week's roundup on the magical tablet itself, aided by a healthy dose of sunshine and an excellent Cuban cigar. Alas, the great outdoors--even the backyard variety--are fraught with peril for our favourite tablet, from dirt to dust to surfaces that seem to scratch and dent its screen and aluminium back.

Luckily, there's no shortage of cases to help keep our mobile friends safe both at home and on the go, as you can see from this week's case roundup.

This company's (iPad 1 and iPad 2; $40 and up) includes, as its name suggests, a basic case and several interconnecting accessories that can be adapted to different uses and functions The accessories include a cover ($20), a shoulder strap ($20), a hand strap ($15), a wall mount ($20), and a headrest strap ($20). A new version of the system compatible with the iPad 2 will available this summer, and buyers will be able to customize their cases and accessories through .

The (iPad 2; $150) looks like a high-end leather designer purse ("borsetta" is Italian for "handbag," in case you were wondering where the name comes from) and works both as a carrying case with two separate compartments and as a viewing and typing stand. It is available in black, red, pink, or white, and if you pre-order, you get a reduced price of $140.

The (iPad 2; $35) is a hard, polycarbonate shell, available in black or , that protects the back of the iPad 2 while retaining compatibility with Apple's Smart Cover. The case's ultrathin and ultralight material has a soft feel but doesn't add significant bulk, and it provides all the appropriate cutouts to ensure that the iPad's connectors and camera remain accessible.

The (iPad 2; $30) is a back cover made of ultra-thin, scratch-resistant polycarbonate. It features all the appropriate cutouts to ensure easy access to the tablet's ports and camera openings, and is available in blue, pink, lime, red, white, black, or clear. Switcheasy also includes a number of goodies with the cover, including two fold-out stands, a screen film, and protectors for both the headphone jack and dock-connector port.